HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER: What’s in a Name?
You may have recently noticed a subtle change in our product name as you were scrolling through the Hound Labs website or reading our social media. The HOUND® MARIJUANA BREATHALYZER is now the HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER. While this may appear to be a small change on the surface, we feel like it’s an important one. Over the next few weeks, you’ll begin seeing changes on our website, in our blogs, and in other communications as we update our product name. In this post, we dive into the reasons and significance behind the name of our product. And, why we don’t say things like the devil’s lettuce, pot, weed, or any other pejorative or slang terms for cannabis.
At the time of our founding in 2014, we aligned with the terminology of the day, and named our up-and-coming solution the HOUND® MARIJUANA BREATHALYZER, describing our ultra-sensitive technology’s ability to measure THC in the breath. THC, the principal psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant, remains in the breath for only a few hours after use, making the test an ideal indicator of recent use.
To measure THC molecules in the breath, our technology mimics the sensitivity of testing performed in a laboratory while being packaged as a convenient solution that’s suitable for on-site collections, screening at the workplace, or via a network of collection sites. Its fast results help employers make quick determinations about employee status and appropriately mitigate risk.
Since the founding of Hound Labs, more than 25 states have joined the ranks of those that allow adults legal access to either recreational or medical cannabis. As of 2022, more than 70% of U.S. adults have legal access to cannabis,1 including millions who are actively employed. This leaves many employers actively looking for ways to respect their employees’ personal choices outside of work while also maintaining safe, productive workplaces.
Expanded access to cannabis has been accompanied by a change in the way people talk about the substance. Terms2 like weed, pot, dope, and even marijuana are gradually being replaced by the more sophisticated, formal name – cannabis.
Google keyword search data shows that “cannabis” searches are trending up and will likely surpass searches for “marijuana” within the next few years. The terminology shift is also reflected in current legislation, with the name of a landmark California bill changing from the “Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act” to the “Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA).”3
With marijuana’s long history, some have noted negative connotations with the term marijuana and its past associations with racial prejudice and anti-immigration sentiment.4 At Hound Labs, we have observed the same shift in conversations with our partners and prospective customers, who are increasingly updating their drug testing program and policy language to reflect the term cannabis. As this trend becomes more mainstream among employers, we are actively listening and responding by adjusting the name of our solution to match the voice of our customers. Our name change demonstrates Hound Labs’ commitment to innovation and a forward-thinking mindset.
CONTINUED BRAND EVOLUTION
While the name of our product has changed, what has not changed is our commitment to delivering a solution that promotes SAFETY + FAIRNESS™ in the workplace – safety by detecting and deterring recent use of cannabis and fairness by protecting employees’ choices outside of work.
The science behind our technology is precise, and our name should be as well.
Our name speaks to accuracy, clearly indicating what our solution tests and its intended use. This is especially important as we prepare to launch the HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER, putting systems in the hands of employers who will use them to create safer, fairer, and more productive workplaces.
September 8, 2022
By AARON ATKINSON
SVP of Marketing